A History of Queensborough Township, South Carolina

One of the early and important actions of the Royal Government was the Township Act of 1730; additional townships were authorized in 1761. The first act authorized nine townships containing 20,000 acres each, and agents were sent to Europe to recruit families as settlers. The families were offered inducements such as free transportation to South Carolina, free provisions for one year, and free land. The townships neither created nor kept records; their functions were solely geographical. Townships, like parishes, were used for some tax districts and appeared as locators in grants and conveyances.

Queensborough Township was established and first settled by Scots-Irish and Welsh from Pennsylvania and Delaware in 1735. It was located on the west side of the Great Pee Dee River in what are the present-day counties of Florence and Marion. Most of the Welsh ended up living in the adjacent Welsh Tract - also established during the 1730 Township Act - and few remained in the Queensborough Township. Situated on fairly poor soil compared to the Welsh Tract, Queensborough never really took off. The few Scots-Irish that had settled the area simply spread out and drifted away in search of better lands.

In 1768/9, the Royal Colony of South Carolina passed the District Act and eliminated all references to the old counties and townships with respect to governmental organization. The parishes remained intact, and even two new Parishes were established in 1768 - St. David's Parish and St. Matthew's Parish.

What had been Queensborough Township was now part of the much larger Georgetown District and within the newly-established St. David's Parish - both created in 1768, but the districts were not truly functional until around 1772, right before the American Revolution.

Immediately after the American Revolution, the newly-independent State of South Carolina redefined its internal districts in 1785 and recreated a new version of "counties" quite unlike the mostly-ambiguous and unsurveyed counties that existed prior to 1768. In 1791, South Carolina once again redefined its districts to now include the specific newly-created counties. In 1800, South Carolina decided to rename all existing counties as districts, and the larger term for district was now obsolete - no more aggregation of counties into a large district.

During all of this, Queensborough Township ceased to exist. Since no significant permanent towns were ever established in the 20,000 acre tract, the name Queensborough disappeared, not even recognized in the current state of South Carolina. To find where it once was, locate the small town of Pamplico in present-day Florence County and you will now know where the heart of Queensborough Township once was.

© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved